How to Write a Poem (Topography)

Wikipedia Poem, No. 571

w571

“The absence of plot leaves the reader room to think about other things. … Plots are for dead people.” David Shields

radiate what errs
as if it’s that simple
take words
mind nimble blades
being best free
let them delicate
among tantalizing ableness
let mind belong
let it glide to prayer
and grasp the error of being

God Cannot Be Fingered

Wikipedia Poem, No. 410

art

“I have only two charms in my pocket” Frank O’Hara

 

not every sentence
needs a verb
this one
for instance does
not demand it

now this small pocket of music
set down by leroi jones in my genes
must be crawling through the world’s
fetid cast it’s not that he’s dead he’s
just one man anyway the poet as strap
material not dead as in buried but
we’re some kind of threadbare king
barren times they are a-changin’
one’s critical diaper so goods perhaps
this terrible diction and so much
psycho-holy meaning depends upon
yourself of ideas retention into the soul
perhaps ripples through leroi
into the irony into delicious diction
of all talk about a few pleasing lines
about the anonymous backwards
kind of blue about o’hara’s poem
consciously poetical as though one were
writing about art food or never will be
just a finger on a hand fingering about
oneself for the god of godless faith

Wikipedia Poem, No. 275

wiki275

generalize
      calculate	 	 
      die
      
decide
decide
    decide

decide
       decide
decide

decide
purify
       theorize

generalize
finalize
localize

imagine
     combine
combine

reach
appear
appear

appear
       appear
appear

       appear
appear
appear

appear
appear
appear

appear
   appear
         appear

appear
  appear
appear

appear
appear
       approach is a generalize

      transform
transform
      big top
          
forecast
combine
exacerbate

      test
        manifest
     summarize

      stablize
accelerate
       reach

resent 
        evidence
  back 

to invigorate
      manifest
      manifest

         terminate
        reach
       reach

appear
  appear
appear

appear
         appear
        appear

appear
appear
     appear

    appear
        appear
appear

      appear
appear
behold

how the locksmith helped, draft 102120120753

you locked the door behind, you what else
could i do? you were young, i wanted more.

in his suicide note K dreamed about
Freddie — admired, envied — never locked

their door. silent, wind and highway light crawling
sharp, i remember you mad against

the white brick wall posed as imperfection.
i had the locksmith come as a favor

he couldn’t have known, what else could he do?
i thanked him with cash, the actor performed.

how the locksmith helped, draft 102120121741

you locked the door behind you what else
could i do? you were young, i wanted more.

in his suicide note K dreamed about
Freddie — admired, envied — never locked

silence then, wind and highway lights crawling
now i remember you posing against

painted brick wall posed as imperfection
i had the locksmith come as a favor

he couldn’t have known, what else could he do?
i thanked him with cash, i can think of worse.

One Long Fucking Question for Michael Robbins

What I’ve learned about long walks of course
Was taught by the whiskers of a reservation man
Lashing a horse
Sterile tracts of pale kentucky blue grey shale

Don’t take them
Or take them seldom by mail
Stretching out like a dying dog
between
The pickets and Queen Anne

For a loss
They can’t
Be beat

The beat
Across the lawn
The lawn along the limb
Where does nightfall end
And daybreak crown its gin?

untitled, 092920121223

it’s not enough to be
clever; each little sound byte
performance padded; deeper philosophies
cold, carrying scaly sustenance; what is
a poem
if not a poem; a hard
tea-thin blade dimpling the pink
precious flesh of yr mother’s throat

oh to bring her back; oh
to save her;

a poem —

untitled, 082620120512

keep yr both heels lifted
high above yr head

work is, we’re all sure,
a poor excuse for rules

mercy pockets burglar tools
but stalks from door to door

hopeful wields a rented ford
and searches for a little more

in spite of the police reports
neither will be seen or caught.